Archive for the ‘localvore’ category

Big Red is Dead

September 14, 2010
eating meat means someone has killed your meat for you. My birds have had much better lives than factory raised birds.

If you eat meat, someone is killing for you. My chickens have a way better life than any bird callously raised in a factory. I'm pulling feathers off. Denali is eviscerating at right. Mark is carrying a bucket of dressed chickens. Bruce is behind Marc tending the big pot where freshly beheaded chickens get dipped to loosen their feathers.

Having grown up in a small city on a bus route where the air never smelled as good as when we went camping, raising backyard chickens is  not in my paradigm.

My chicken career hatched at a localvore potluck dinner when Brad, holding a chicken ordering list, said with conviction, “Raising chickens is easier than raising children and dogs.”

I had done both, and added “husband” to the short list of unfamiliar creatures I was expected to nurture, feed and love with little experience. The localvore movement swept me away into a chicken odyssey that cold night in January.

After much investigation I got seven pullets (5 months old) from a new chicken friend. Four of the birds turned out to be roosters. The only place for loud, aggressive, feed-eating, non-egg producing roosters is — the  stew pot.

My good friend Denali joined my chicken exploits, and in her inimitable Denali way, immersed herself in chicken husbandry. She organized this butchering party to eliminate roosters and avoid consuming factory-raised meat.

What I love about raising chickens is the intimate connection to life and my food. I wish I’d raised chickens alongside of my children. It offers a plethora of experience, knowledge chores and family bonding opportunities.

BC — before chickens — my chicken knowledge started and ended at the grocery store. I’m still at a loss when they act sick. I have friends, Internet resources and books to guide me. I don’t worry about my ignorance so much.

I’m an able chicken raiser. It is WAY easier than raising able children and dogs. As for the husband — he’s in a class all of his own.